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I’ll be leaving to Austin to go see a concert tonight. It is one of many that I have attended since I first saw the magic of a live band years ago. Every time I get ready to go to one that is out of town it takes me back.

Back to when I was young, and Rock and Roll was still new to me. We gathered the crew and were ready to leave by the time school got out. We always piled into someone’s car and made sure we stopped somewhere for gas and something to eat before we hit the city limits.

Depending on where we went, we always had time to stop in the obligatory record store or shop that Victoria just couldn’t offer. We made time to get to the venue early and hang outside with the other early comers. Didn’t matter who they were, or who you were, we were in a foreign land, and for once the rules of the house and VISD didn’t matter much. We took what we could, free newspapers, fliers for upcoming shows, bought the band’s merchandise, paid attention to the opening bands… we did all this because we were so in love with this music.

None of us were rich. We weren’t out to save the world, and sometimes we didn’t want any part in it. Most of us were in our own form of garage band anyway. For some reason we weren’t all that happy with the music that was playing on the radio, so we wrote our own songs… this made us feel better. And there were other bands that wrote these songs too. They weren’t out of touch like other rock stars, they hung out with the audience, sold their own t shirts, they were like us, not too much older, crowded in a van, seeing the country.

Some people said it was a phase. For some it was. They traded their skateboards and guitars for minivans and regular life. For most, like myself, we just adapted with the eventual aging process. I’m 29 now, not old by any means, but in punk rock years, that is an absolute dinosaur. Being old enough to drink in the venues you play in is a much better gig than I ever wanted as a kid, but I’m not as dumb to stay in the pit as long as I used to either.

Strange how something as simple as a concert can conjure up such vivid memories.